Interview: Thai official calls for promoting peace, unity through Hangzhou Asian Games

(Xinhua) 13:30, August 23, 2023

BANGKOK, Aug. 23 (Xinhua) -- The upcoming Asian Games in Hangzhou will serve as an important platform to promote peace and friendship in Asia, a senior Thai Olympic Committee official said.

Charoen Wattanasin, vice president of the Thai Olympic Committee, told Xinhua in an interview that over the years the Asian Games have evolved into a vital conduit for promoting peaceful exchanges between countries and regions.

He lauded China's expertise in hosting major sports events, which has raised expectations for the forthcoming 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou.

Charoen noted that the Asian Games gather elite athletes from all over Asia, showcasing the hosting prowess of the region and demonstrating their unwavering solidarity with each other.

"It is very important to strengthen peaceful relations among nations in today's global landscape," he said. "The Asian Games serve as a significant platform for cross-cultural exchanges and friendship."

Charoen said he firmly believes that sports should serve as a bridge to promote unity and friendship.

The 86-year-old Charoen has vast experience of participating in the Asian Games, as a badminton player and later as a sports official.

He won a gold medal in the men's team event and a bronze medal in the men's doubles at the 1966 Bangkok Asian Games.

Charoen recalled the joint march of athletes from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and South Korea at the opening ceremony of the 2002 Busan Asian Games, which he regarded as a testament to the power of sports in bringing together contentious countries, and serving as a tool for peaceful conflict resolution and a means to foster friendship, understanding, and cooperation.

He believed that establishing effective communication channels in Asia and adopting China's leadership approach of peaceful dispute resolution and equal treatment could help enhance mutual understanding and resolve differences.

Charoen expressed his fondness for the slogan of the Hangzhou Asian Games, "Heart to Heart, @Future," interpreting it as conveying the importance of sincere interaction and mutual understanding, as well as the enduring journey towards the future.

He encouraged all participants of the Asian Games to advance in the right direction guided by this principle, while eagerly anticipating a brighter future.

With one month to go before the Asian Games, Charoen is looking forward to Thai athletes converting their hard work into results, bringing glory both to their country and to Asian sports.

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Liang Jun)


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